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Posted: 07/09/14

Phone scam robs local
woman of nearly $3,000

Observer Staff Writer
      The Macomb County Sheriff's Office is warning citizens of a scam that has already robbed one resident of almost $3,000.
       On June 30, a 33-year-old Washington Township woman reported to the sheriff's office that she was a victim of fraud after submitting payments to someone who identified himself as an employee for the IRS.
       According to the complainant, the woman received two unsolicited voicemails from an individual identifying himself as Allen Walton, an employee of the IRS. She said that she returned his calls and the man convinced her that she owed $1,400.
       He instructed her to go to a Rite Aid Pharmacy and use a Green Dot Money Pak to pay the money.
       The woman complied, going to a nearby Rite Aid and made the payment. She states that she did not hear back from the man, so she called him and told him that she made the payment.
       The man then said he needed another $1,300 for her husband. The complainant said the caller knew her husband's name. She states she went back to Rite Aid and made the second payment.
       She called the man back, and this time he told her that she needed to pay another $1,700 for "immigration." Fearing that she was the victim of a scam, she called the sheriff's office and reported the incident.
       Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said people should be skeptical of anyone who is trying to conduct business over the phone. Governmental agencies will never request payments in such a manner.
       If residents are not sure of who they are dealing with, they should require a call-back number and report the situation to the local police department.
       "Unless you are absolutely sure who you are dealing with, do not send money electronically to anyone," Wickersham said.

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